Skip Nav
Time Is Money: The Best Financial Podcasts to Listen to While Living Your Life
Job Search
Is It Ever OK to Apply For Multiple Positions at One Company?
Working From Home
Study Finds Employees Who (Sometimes) Work Remotely Are Most Engaged

New Credit Card Bill Limits Age For Getting Credit Cards

Should There Be Credit Card Restrictions For Those Under 21?

The new credit card legislation is awaiting President Obama's much anticipated signature. One of the provisions of the law will require anyone under 21 to have a co-signer on cards, unless the person can show proof of income. Do you support this provision or do you think it's too limiting?


Join The Conversation
Allytta Allytta 8 years
it depends. if a person is living on his/her own without parents to sign the form then they should not be left out. some people have no one to confine in. parents are dead or gone and no other people to stand behind them. i was like that when i just moved to England and had to go through a lot of trouble of just getting my life together.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I don't think 21 is the magic age either...there are 40 year olds that are more irresponsible with their CCs than some 20 year olds. My husband had a full-time job as a mechanic when he was 18 and he had a helluva time getting a credit card even though he had proof of income. But as soon as he went off to college when he was 20, the offers came rolling in. Why does being in college automatically make you "responsible" with money? Truth is, it doesn't. EVERYONE should have to have proof of income to get a credit card. And if there is an 18 year old with a decent-paying job that can handle a CC, let them get one. And if there's some 40 y.o. dude that can't hold a job to save his life that wants one, make HIM get the cosigner.
Chouette4u Chouette4u 8 years
I am just not a fan of a "paternal" government. We don't need to be saved from ourselves by Uncle Sam. The credit card companies can decide on their own who deserves what kind of credit line. Recently, they've learned they need to be more careful, so in response, they are lowering some people's credit lines and it's harder to get a new credit line. That's how things should work. The government should not be passing legislation with stuff like this in it. Unfortunately, I am in favor of some of the other things in this bill, so I am torn on whether or not I hope Obama will veto it (he won't).
stephanielovesOC stephanielovesOC 8 years
I actually think its a good idea, I got in trouble in college and this would have helped prevent that.
Chouette4u Chouette4u 8 years
"expresso14, there really is no example where debit card can't be used instead of a CC. Even in your example, you don't need a CC to buy plane tickets and it isn't any easier than using a debit card." Not true. For one, most if not all debit cards have a daily POS limit. I think it's usually around $2000-$2500. I found that one out when I was buying some furniture once and I just wanted to put it on my debit card but couldn't, even though I had a lot more money in my checking account. Second, if someone steals your debit card number and makes fraudulent purchases with it, it sucks a lot more than if they steal a credit card number because they are spending your actual MONEY and not just your credit. It happened to my husband's debit card and they cleaned out our checking account enough that we couldn't pay our rent and my mother had to loan us the money for a few days. We caught the fraud immediately, but it took a few days for the bank to investigate and get the money back to us. If your CC is stolen, you're only temporarily losing money that isn't really yours in the first place.
ooosoluvly ooosoluvly 8 years
18 maybe. but 21? thats kind of ridiculous. if they're "old enough" to have a credit card, there shouldn't be restrictions. Just because some is 18 or 19 doesn't mean they're not as responsible as a 21 year old.
poizenisxkandee poizenisxkandee 8 years
if you are old enough and think that youre responsible enough to have a credit card - thats on you - not you and your cosigner.
expresso14 expresso14 8 years
Some college students do not have income or have very low incomes (my undergrad college prohibited us from working more than 10 hrs a week on campus). Credit cards are handy when you need to buy something big (like a plane ticket) and don't have the money available (can't use a debit card). If I needed to buy something that my parents would cover, they'd reimburse me before the bill was due. Co-signing may be ok, but I'm not sure how easy it is to set up when your parents are on the other side of the country. A credit card is generally the easiest way to start building a credit history and there's nothing wrong with getting a card, provided you have the knowledge to use it responsibly (what the real shortfall is here). With a couple exceptions I've always paid my bills in full and on time (the exception being when I bought a used car and the interest rate on my credit card was lower than any loan I could get because I didn't have enough of a credit history).
imLissy imLissy 8 years
"I'm not so sure about the effectiveness of a cosigner" You know how many of my friends signed up for credit cards to get a free t-shirt and then used the card and couldn't pay it back because they had no money? People are frickin' stupid.
death-by-chocolat death-by-chocolat 8 years
I'm not so sure about the effectiveness of a cosigner, other than putting someone else on 'the hook' if the younger party defaults on payments. It won't really help curb credit spending, more just protect the banks. I agree with those above- income checks should be mandatory for all credit cards, not just for those under age 21.
imLissy imLissy 8 years
They can have a credit card, it's just saying either they or someone else has to have a job to pay it off. Um, duh! If they have no source of income, how are they going to pay it? I don't see this hurting anyone's chance of getting a job. No one expects an 18 yr old to have good credit anyway.
expresso14 expresso14 8 years
I see nothing wrong with allowing those under 21 to have a credit card if it has a low limit (say $1000) without a co-signer. There are times a CC is extremely handy (plane tickets for example). From the stories my students have told, it seems as if the CC companies almost encourage reckless spending by upping limits, even if someone is only making minimum payments.
Chouette4u Chouette4u 8 years
Totally agree with the others that 21 is not some magic number. I understand that credit card companies need to assess the risk of giving you a line of credit, but they should assess everyone the same way. There are plenty of older people who fail at paying their bills and spending responsibly. To me, this is just plain ageism.
simplyfab87 simplyfab87 8 years
I agree with anonymous. You are considered an adult when you are 18. Treat people as such. Why is 21 some magic number? Most 21 y.o I know are just as stupid and irresponsible as when they were 18 y.o.
mondaymoos mondaymoos 8 years
I think having proof of income should be a restriction for ANYONE applying for a credit card, much less people under 21.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i think that there need to be provisions or limitations on people, but i don't know if having a co-signer really solves the problem. i know that for myself and a lot of people that i know got into credit problems in college because we just didn't have that kind of responsibility, but to make someone co-sign for you - that kind of puts them at fault as well and that doesn't help. i think that there should really be limitations on the credit limits, and the interest rates etc...don't incentivize so much when you're targeting college kids for cards.
Who Is the Best Once Upon a Time Character of 2016?
Accidental Credit Card Fraud
Ryan Reynolds and Ryan Gosling Hotness Poll
How Bad Is It to Cancel a Credit Card?
From Our Partners
Latest Career & Finance
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds